Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville will today attend a regional water summit hosted by Ms Suzanna Sheed MP, the Independent member for Shepparton.
The summit presents an excellent opportunity for Ms Neville to share meaningful conversations about Northern Victorian Basin water management with key peak-body groups and regional partner agencies.
Ms Neville said hearing first-hand the scope of local issues and challenges regarding the Murray-Darling Basin Plan gives the Government important insights to guide critical water planning decisions in the future.
She welcomed the opportunity to speak with people and businesses from the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) about concerns relating to water prices, water market transparency and water trade prices.
The Andrews Labor Government is well aware of community concerns about the impacts of changes brought about by the Basin Plan, and is focused on securing a balanced approach to the Basin Plan that properly considers social, economic and environmental impacts across the State.
Minister Neville said a balanced approach that provided resilience into the future was especially critical for the GMID given its role in providing employment for many of the region’s 84,000-strong workforce.
The GMID is home to irrigation-based industries including dairy, horticulture and viticulture; and agriculture-related industries such as food processing, packaging, transport and specialist engineering and electrical trades.
The GMID produces more than half of Australia's nectarines, peaches and plums and almost three quarters of the nation's pear crop.
It is also a substantial apricot producer, has a burgeoning almond and olive-growing industry and produces just under a quarter of Australia's milk, either as fresh milk or value-added butter, cheese, yoghurt and dried milk products.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
“We want to see Basin Plan implementation that is robust under climate change and balances environmental outcomes with a productive irrigation sector and thriving and developing regional communities.”
“Our Basin Plan focus has always been to support regional communities by investing in modernising irrigation and farm systems, and to protect the environment by saving and using water more efficiently.”
“Our position has always been to get the most out of environmental works and measures, and push to get the best environmental outcomes with a minimal impact on productive water.”
“We have a shared challenge to find balance in water allocation, as we also need healthy rivers, wetlands and lakes to support vibrant and healthy communities.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020